COAST: The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) usually has a sympathetic ear with The Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial page. After all, the paper shares the group’s “less government is good” creed. Now, however, even The Enquirer is criticizing COAST’s latest ballot referendum. Although the measure is touted as a method to force city leaders into letting voters decide on the streetcar project, it’s so broadly written that it also would affect all future rail projects. It’s a deceptive way for the anti-public transit COAST to stymie light rail and high-speed rail. Let’s hope voters trade in this clunker of an idea.
TIM YOUNG: Ohio’s chief public defender is challenging the state Supreme Court over the pace of executions for Death Row inmates, an unpopular but important cause.
So many prisoners have been sentenced to die in the Buckeye State that at least one person will receive a lethal injection each month this year — and possibly more — through December. Young believes the fast pace means mistakes are more likely and doesn’t leave time for defense attorneys to do their jobs properly. Whether you like capital punishment or not (we don’t), everyone can agree this is one situation where getting it right the first time is imperative.
DALE MALLORY: The state representative, a Democrat who is Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory’s brother, has seemed clueless during his first few years in office and like he’s just in it for the paycheck. Dale isn’t doing much to change that impression by glomming onto the “war on bedbugs” as his major legislative focus. The lawmaker issued a press release to say he’s calling an emergency meeting with local officials, along with hotel and landlord groups, to address the infestation. The meeting’s time and place, alas, so far are unknown. While bedbugs are bad, we bet constituents in the 32nd District have more pressing concerns that require state attention.
JOB CREATION: With Ohio’s unemployment rate hovering around 11 percent, any incentive for creating or retaining jobs is much needed. Hamilton County has crafted a new financing program to leverage $22.9 million in federal stimulus money for private sector projects. It allows businesses to use a competitive process to access Recovery Zone Facility Bonds, tax-exempt financing for facility improvements and expansions. The county’s criteria focus on projects that result in new jobs and sales tax growth in the county. We applaud Hamilton County commissioners for acting quickly. (Cincinnati City Council, please take note.)